‘Lemon Law’ passed, will take effect in September

Kai Fong

The newly proposed "Lemon Law", which protects consumers against defective goods, was passed in Parliament on Friday and will take effect this September.

Under the bill, consumers can report a defective item within six months of purchase.

The seller may first offer to repair or replace the defective good without significant inconvenience to the buyer. If that is not possible, the consumer may keep the defective good and ask for a partial refund or return it for a full refund.

Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck said in Parliament that the amendments will expand and make more explicit the remedies available to both consumers and businesses, as well as clarify timelines and burden of proof.

The law now states that the burden of proof lies on the retailer to prove that the defect did not exist at the point of sale.

Added Teo, “Introducing such a law in Singapore will bring us in line with international jurisdictions, and assure both locals and tourists that the products they buy are of good quality, thus improving the image of the retail industry in Singapore.

“The amendments will serve to make the existing consumer protection framework even more robust. In drafting this Bill, we have taken great care to ensure that it is both pro-consumer and business-friendly.”

To assist motor traders to defray costs and encourage them to offer replacements for lemon vehicles, the Ministry of Transport and the Land Transport Authority have also proposed amendments to the Road Traffic Act.

The amendment would allow the transfer of the Additional Registration Fee and Certificate of Entitlement from a defective vehicle to a replacement vehicle, provided the defective vehicle meets a set of criteria.